MESA, Ariz. — Cody Scaggari’s two-run home run led the Utah baseball team as the Utes fell to Kansas, 6-3, in the Pac-12/Big 12 Challenge on Friday evening.
Kansas led 4-0 after the first two innings. Although the Utes cut the lead to 4-3 in the sixth inning, the Jayhawks pulled ahead with insurance runs in the late innings.
Dalton Carroll threw 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks. He falls to 0-2 with the loss. Trenton Stoltz pitched 1 1/3 innings, allowing one hit, while Hunter Rodriguez also went one inning, allowing one run, three walks and no hits, striking out one.
Scaggari went 1-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate. Wyler Smith was 2-for-3 and Kody Davis went 2-for-4 on the night.
The Utes struggled with stranded runners, leaving nine on base throughout the game. Several hard hits were right at fielders.
Kansas jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The first two batters of the game walked and after a sacrifice bunt, an RBI single sent across the first two runs of the game. Another RBI single gave the Jayhawks an early three-run advantage. A solo home run in the bottom of the second gave Kansas a 4-0 advantage.
The Utes got a pair of runs back in the top of the third. With one out, Davis doubled down the left field line, followed by a two-run home run off the bat of Scaggari. Hunter Simmons looked to keep the rally going with a single, got caught in a rundown trying to advance, and a throwing error put him on third with two outs, but Kansas got a fly-out to end the inning.
Utah got a run back in the sixth. Simmons started off the inning with a hard hit to right field, which was tracked down with a great catch by the Kansas fielder. AJ Young walked and moved to third on a single from Smith with the hit and run-on. Wade Gulden grounded out to send Young across the plate, cutting the lead to 4-3.
Kansas rallied back in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of singles and a wild pitch sending a run home and again giving the Jayhawks a two-run advantage, 5-3. Kansas continued to pull ahead with a run in the bottom of the eighth, taking advantage of a walk and a hit by pitch for a sacrifice fly to put the score at 6-3.
Utah continues at the Pac-12/Big 12 Challenge with Oklahoma State on Saturday, Feb. 21, at Cubs Park in Mesa, Ariz.